There is an argument that persists in food circles about the validity of organic foods. Any internet search will return hundreds of results on discussions regarding if organic makes any difference to the nutritional content of the produce and indeed if this food is really any better for health. There are papers that will point to that those who promote organic foods and the promotion of them is misguided as there are no hard benefits to health that can be pointed to.
However, these arguments against organic food are missing the big picture, that of the entire cycle that produces food in the first place, they ignore the quality of the landscape and the importance of that quality wildlife and nature whose role in healthy food production is critical. There is no doubting that to choose foods free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals will do us no harm and it is without doubt that it is better for the environment preserving the delicate eco-system on which food is reliant. The cycle of food begins with the soil in which it is grown, it is the foundation of food, and as any grower/gardener will confirm a well-balanced soil rich in healthy organic matter (animals and micro-organisms) and nutrients produces strong and healthy plants that become strong, better tasting and more nourishing foods for humans and animals.
Organic farming eliminates the nitrogen draining and other nutrient leaching effects of intensive chemical farming designed to get as much from the land as quickly and cheaply as possible. Depleted lands produce depleted crops. It is also important to note that many of the approved chemicals that have been used were registered prior to extensive research has been done into their potential effects. Choosing organic produce prevents any more of these chemicals getting into the air, soil and water that are essential to sustaining us. It is truly unfortunate that an awareness of the critical value of wildlife to healthy food is considered unimportant or forgotten in intensive farming. Wildlife and nature are critical in producing nutritious and diverse foods through pollination and elimination of pests. Organic farming works in harmony with the eco-system, mindful of it’s importance. They deploy crop rotation methods, recognising that these methods prevents diseases in our soils and foods, preserves organic matter in the soil, retains wetlands and foraging hedgerows encouraging wildlife which take care of pests and nourish the land further.
This fun short video from The Soil Association gives a simple insight in why organic foods and important and are healthier for us all and: